Quitman, La., Woman Booked on Arson-for-Insurance Charge

February 2, 2007

A Quitman, La., woman has been arrested, accused of setting her mother’s house on fire in order to collect insurance money.

Investigators with the state Fire Marshal’s Office on Jan. 30 arrested Pamela Dukes, 49, on charges of simple arson over $500, and arson with intent to defraud, authorities said.

Donald Carter, supervisor with the Fire Marshal’s Office, said Dukes is accused of setting an unoccupied house on fire Jan. 24. The home was owned by her mother Ethel Dukes, 83.

The house was “heavily damaged,” but no one was injured, Carter said.

The suspect’s mother was living at a residence next door to where the fire occurred. “We believe the motive was monetary gain,” Carter said. “It was heavily damaged, but we are unsure of the dollar amount.”

In an unrelated investigation by the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Dukes also was arrested on charges of distribution of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and a warrant for issuing worthless checks. She was booked into the Jackson Parish Jail and transferred to Richland Parish Detention Center.

Bond was set at $116,500.

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